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Green tourism in the spotlight in Ayrshire

Press Release   •   Apr 20, 2018 15:00 BST

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead with Adity and Simon Houison Craufurd

A MAJOR new sustainable development set to open within the grounds of an historic Ayrshire Estate was given the ‘green’ light by the national tourism organisation last week.

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead made a special stop-off at Craufurdland Castle & Estate, near Kilmarnock, as part of his national Tea & Tourism tour for 2018.

Mr Roughead was given a tour of the ‘Laird’s Table’ a new £0.5million café, restaurant and tourist destination which offers cycling, fishing and other outdoor activities within the grounds of the 600-acre estate. The project is set to create 18 full-time jobs when it opens later this month.

The development will put sustainability and heritage at the heart of its operations. The restaurant and visitor space aims to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible, from the use of recycled materials to build the structure to the use of water source heat pumps and solar panels, and worms for recycling food waste.

Mr Roughead was also given a sneak-peak of some of the family memorabilia that will be used to decorate the restaurant. This includes three original receipts from Johnny Walker with Inland Revenue stamps from the 1870s which was discovered by the Craufurd family, which has owned the Castle for almost 800 years.

Current Laird, Simon Houison Craufurd, said: “We were delighted to welcome VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead, in particular to showcase the latest development in our journey to develop a modern and sustainable tourist destination here at Craufurdland Castle and Estate.

“Every inch of the project is designed to tell a story, and this estate has a lot of tales to tell. My aspiration has always been to open up Craufurdland so people can enjoy and discover its treasures the way our family have for generations.”

VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead, said: “Tourism is at the very heart of economic success in Ayrshire – it is integral to sustaining communities across Scotland by generating income, creating jobs and stimulating social change across the region. Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure that current provision meets future demand.

“Craufurdland Castle & Estate has demonstrated that they are showcasing the best of what the region has to offer – from its unique culture, heritage and history right through to the fantastic outdoors activities and sports on offer. In addition, they are leading the way in driving forward sustainable tourism, which is becoming increasingly important as visitors become more socially and environmentally conscious.”

Mr Roughead is visiting a number of locations across Scotland again this year, as part of his national Tea and Tourism tour. A similar tour last year saw him convene 11 meetings around the country, engaging with more than 100 industry influencers.

Building on the successes of similar events held over the previous two years, this series of Chief Executive Listening Tour meetings gives tourism organisations and businesses the opportunity to speak directly to Mr Roughead.

Prior to his visit to Craufurdland Castle & Estate, Mr Roughead made the trip to Arran where he met and spoke directly with members of the VisitArran Board.

For more information on VisitArran, visit

For more information on Craufurdland Estate, visit

Notes to Editors

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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.